Are Constitutional States Able to Drive the Global Technological Change?
Abstract. The present paper aims at assessing the possible efficiency of the principle of national contributions, assumed in the 2015 Paris Framework Convention on Climate Change. Strong historical evidence indicates that any significant development of constitutional states used to take place, in the past, on the rising tide of demographic growth. Presently, we are facing global demographic slowdown, and contesters argue that constitutional states are not the right address to write to if we want breakthrough technological change. This paper assumes that the capacity of constitutional states to carry out the obligations declared in the Framework Convention, i.e. to carry out deep technological changes in the global economy, depends on their economic power, which can be estimated as their capacity to appropriate capital. Empirical data, examined in this article, indicates that since the 1980s, constitutional states have been losing their economic power, and that the overall technological progress is more and more disconnected from that economic power of governments. Moreover, constitutional states seem to be losing their capacity to experiment with their own institutions.
Keywords. Institutions, Constitutional state, Political economy.JEL. H00, H10, H30 H80.
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